Today’s Cellar Note takes us to Texas and what I believe is our first review of a Texas wine. Well, howdy partner, we are happy to make your acquaintance and a tip of our Stetsons to the folks at Locations for sending us the tasting sample.
The Locations range of wines is the brainchild of winemaker Dave Phinney whose first project, Orin Swift Cellars and flagship wine The Prisoner, achieved great critical and financial success. The goal of Phinney’s Locations wines is pretty standard for a winemaker — make the best wine possible — but the execution is anything but standard.
Phinney does not concentrate on just one location in the world as do most winemakers. Rather, Phinney travels the world looking for the best vineyard sites tended by progressive growers. He secures the best fruit and makes a wine that best reflects that location, without regard for local appellation requirements. To those of us living in new world wine regions this might not seem so unusual. But in Europe for example, where allowed grape varieties and many aspect of viticultural practices are prescribed by appellation regulations, it’s a significant departure.
Along with the decision to choose the creativity of blending a wine over following appellation requirements (and the appellation label that comes with it) came the idea of Locations. France was first and Locations wines now include Corsica, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Argentina and New Zealand, along with Oregon, Washington, California and Texas from the U.S. White, red or rosé; all (except Corsica) are identified by a distinctive oval label reminiscent of country stickers on European license plates.
That’s the Locations story, now let’s have a taste of Texas wine.
Locations TX6 – Texas Red Wine — medium ruby in the glass with generous ripe, red fruit aromas along with hints of smoke in the background. Ripe blackberry, strawberry and plum flavors are joined by dried herbs and dusty earth. Tannins are smooth and the finish is medium in length. 14.5% abv. SRP $24.99
Production notes indicate this blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Carignan and assorted Bordeaux varieties is sourced from the Texas High Plains AVA and McPherson Cellars. The wine was aged in neutral French oak for 10 months.
The Texas High Plains AVA lies at between 3000 and 4100 feet above sea level and is characterized by a hot, dry growing season. Cool evenings in the region west of Lubbock in the Panhandle help preserve the acidity in grapes as they ripen.
This is an approachable red wine that will appeal to a wide variety of wine drinkers. It has plenty of flavor and smooth tannins. This wine is a party wine that will start conversations and pair with a wide variety of food. Grilled burgers with baked beans and potato salad, grilled ribs and coleslaw, grilled chicken with barbecue sauce and, of course, pizza of all sorts. Take your pick.
If you would like to read about other Locations wine please check out some of our other articles or search on Pull That Cork for “Locations” to see all articles.